Friday, June 2, 2023

Memorial Day in Exeter

Exeter honored those who lost their lives in the line of service at their Memorial Day program on Monday at the Exeter Cemetery.

The flags were standing tall down the avenue of flags with the strong winds on the Nebraska prairie as the color guard presented the colors to open the program.

Post 218 Commander Mark Beethe welcomed the crowd and then asked the Exeter-Milligan Band to play “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The invocation was given by Father Brendan Kelly and Morgan White read the “Gettysburg Address.”  The Exeter-Milligan band then played “America.”

Jozie Kanode read “In Flanders Fields,” and the band played “Salute to America’s Finest.”

Beethe introduced Tim Wilbeck who delivered the address.  Wilbeck, a Vietnam veteran, opened his talk noting the number of Sons of the Legion who assisted in the color guard as there are fewer Legion members to participate. He expressed his appreciation for the members of the Sons of the Legion group.

He moved on to recall a fellow Wayne State classmate Steven Backhaus who graduated in 1969 and went right into the Marines.  He was killed after being in country for 10 days.  He reminded the audience “We don’t forget an hour ago or a century ago.”

Wilbeck then talked about those in the Coast Guard who were not eligible for the Purple Heart award until after World War II.  He talked about how many of those Coast Guard members deserving of the Purple Heart have now received them.

He also told about a lieutenant who served in three wars and received three purple hearts but when his three sons went to Vietnam he enlisted again and sacrificed a commission to serve in combat and also lost his life.  “We are here for heroes. . . who have given all they can give so we can enjoy our freedom,” explained Wilbeck.

Wilbeck reminded the audience that it will “always be painfully felt by the gold star families who will mourn them the rest of their lives. . .they all took an oath to die for America if called upon.”

The audience was asked to “continue to mourn their loss but we celebrate their lives. . .freedom comes cloaked in uncertainty.”

After Wilbeck spoke Carter Milton played “Taps” and Kierra Papik performed “Taps Echo” while the color guard gave a 21 gun salute to the dead.

The American Legion Auxiliary served coffee and rolls at the Legion hall following the service at the cemetery.


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Throwback Thursday: 5/26/2013



Rainy weather delayed the volunteers in putting up the flags at the Exeter cemetery and eventually a Monday morning rainshower sent Exeter residents to the Exeter-Milligan gym for the annual Memorial Day Program.

Tim Wilbeck introduced Jennifer Pribyl who read the Gettysburg Address starting with those familiar words, “Four score and seven years ago. . .”


Mrs. Angie Murphy directed the Exeter Milligan Band in “America.”


Blake Papik was introduced and read “In Flander’s Field.”


The Exeter-Milligan Band also played “Salute to Freedom” which incorporates parts of “America the Beautiful,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “God Bless America.”

Tim Wilbeck spoke to the audience.


Exeter Alumni held an alumni dash with prizes:

Eagle of the Meet : Jacob Miller
Spirit Award: Ekeler Sisters (Liz, Cathy, Mary, Monika, Estelle)
First Place: Jim Mueller
Farthest Traveled: Anna Manning Beard (Scottsbluff)
Best Hydration Station: Dying To Run sponsored by Bob and Pat Becker and Company.
Participation Award: Coach Lonnie Shafer
Best Effort/Achievement Award: Kay Due Ruhl and Cathy Rhodes
Eagle Spirit Award: Cara Songster and Cheerleaders


Exeter and Exeter-Milligan alumni had a full weekend of activities and plenty of opportunities to reminisce about their high school hijinks.

The first event for the weekend was the First Annual Adventure Dash, a fun run with hydration stops that were only for those 21 and over.  The route, which took the runners past some of their favorite spots in town, was close to a 5K when it was run twice.  There were five hydration stops.  Some were more elaborate than others but all had a challenge that had to be completed so that the runners could move on. At one stop, the runners had to walk with a lime between their knees and place it into an empty coconut.  At another stop they had to write down their favorite teacher at Exeter-Milligan and also who their first kiss was with.

At the banquet the four faculty and staff who retired this year, Mrs. Polak, Mrs. Votipka, Mrs. Tauriella, and Mrs. Michl were recognized with a round of applause.

The business portion of the meeting was presided over by Cara Songster Stoll, president of the class of 2003.  Sue Kittinger and Jeremy Becker shared the master of ceremony honors.  Kittinger also brought up the new business of how the future of the banquet will be planned as the banquets are now being planned by Exeter-Milligan graduates.

Exeter and Exeter-Milligan alumni also enjoyed a road rally on Sunday afternoon following clues that led to some of their favorite high school haunts.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Kindergarten Graduation


Exeter-Milligan held their Kindergarten graduation on Wednesday, May 17 in the Exeter gym.

The 12 graduates walked in individually to pomp and circumstance and headed up on stage.  The sang three songs with both their teacher Mrs. Amanda Pettygrove and music instructor Mr. Mark Perez.

Pettygrove announced their individual awards and they each received a graduation medal from Principal Laura Kroll that was provided by the Exeter-Milligan Booster Club.

After moving their tassels over from one side to the other the Kindergarten class graduated to first grade, took group photos and were congratulating by their parents and the audience.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Exeter-Milligan Update: Third Grade News


3rd grade news!

By Ashley Arbuck, Exeter-Milligan 3rd grade Instructor


3rd graders love when they get to collaborate with each other and create awesome projects with the knowledge they have gained during pausing points throughout the units in CKLA. This time, each group got to create a poster with information about a different Native American Region that they have learned about.  After presenting their posters, the students compared and contrasted the three different regions.. 


Pictures L-R:


Knox Becker, Reed Wince, Avery Hankins working on their project


Maizy Ogren, Wesley Hopkins, Kenan Petersen working on their project


Layne Zelenka, William Lock, Easton Schlegelmilch working on their project


Layne Zelenka, Easton Schlegelmilch, and William Lock presenting their project


Maizy Ogren, Kenan Petersen, and Wesley Hopkins presenting their project


Avery Hankins, Knox Becker, and Reed Wince presenting their project


Monday, May 29, 2023

Neil F. Hassler Leadership Scholarship

This year's Neil F. Hassler Leadership Scholarship recipient was Cade Kresak

The Neil F. Hassler Leadership Scholarship would like to thank the following generous donors:


Hannah Hassler Walden

Castle Rock, Colorado

Karen Hassler

Panama City Beach, Florida

Neil Hassler

Omaha, Nebraska

Michael E. and Cathryn A. Carr

Lincoln, Nebraska

Marion Geiger

Exeter, Nebraska

Mary Frances Tous Charitable Foundation

Lincoln, Nebraska

Paul and Michelle Hassler

Lincoln, Nebraska

Judith Dinneen

Exeter, Nebraska